I've read some 8 books on Roosevelt's presidency. I've read many more about the times surrounding his presidency before and after. Bradley ignores all of American history in asserting his absurd claims that ultimately amount to his presupposition that Americans all the way back to Washington and forefathers were enamored with their "whiteness" and as such committed horrible travesties, "worse than Hitler himself," on the rest of the world since America's inception. His writing was almost intolerable. I made myself read the 333 page book however because unlike Bradley and other liberals, I like to know a bit about what I'm talking about when making a point. Bradley passes this book off as if its going to be a history of the cruise Taft, Alice Roosevelt, and several other members of Congress went on in the Pacific to push diplomacy and to exercise a reminder of what Roosevelt believed to be American Exceptionalism and military might. Bradley's title unfortunately is just a draw for people to read a book railing against our country and one of the greatest presidents our country has known, something history continues to prove.
Bradley does have a fair amount of sources and notes. The problem with Bradley is that he becomes a master of singling out a quote here and a quote there, pairing it with his obvious American hate-mongering, and then attempting to pass it off as fact. Among his untruths include stating that Roosevelt was never really a Westerner, that his time in the West amounted to much of nothing as he was just a rich man making everyone do things for him. On race, Roosevelt did share much of the popular opinion that minorities had never been educated enough to properly govern themselves. However, Bradley completely misses history's recording of Roosevelt being the first president to have a black man in the White House. He was the first assemblyman to push for the election of a black man in the New York Assembly. Bradley constantly tries to paint Roosevelt as a ruthless dictator abusing the Constitution to make the world his own colony even though Roosevelt pushed hard and won Cuba's freedom when he could have kept it for the US. History does show that the US committed lots of monstrosities with the Philippines, yet Bradley never acknowledges Roosevelt's reckoning with those things once they all came to light and his spearheading of efforts to return the Philippines to its people towards the end of his presidency. Bradley refers to Roosevelt as a lame duck president in his second term. However, polls and numbers are clear; had Roosevelt wanted a third term, he would have easily won it. The amendment limiting presidents to two consecutive terms came after Franklin Delano Roosevelt, thus no president before FDR, and certainly no Roosevelt before him, was ever to be considered a lame duck president. Bradley points out time and time again that Roosevelt supposedly had a blind trust of the Japanese. And while history does show that Roosevelt supported their efforts in the Russo-Japanese War, Roosevelt was on record many, many times stating that one day America would be at war with Japan and it would be best if the country could work to have good relations with her. He mentions Roosevelt's supposed underestimation of the Chinese and his bigoted feelings towards them. History proves it was Roosevelt who came to the aid of the Chinese immigrants in California despite seeing his approval ratings go down. There were so many more inconsistencies that I could go on and on.
One of the greatest biographers of Roosevelt, besides himself, is Edmund Morris. Morris has won the Pulitzer Prize for his three book biographical series on Roosevelt. Each book has between 750-950 pages in it. Morris' first book covers Roosevelt's childhood, early years in politics and the West and being sworn in as President of the United States after William McKinley's assassination. The book is called "The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt" and was a tremendous book. Morris' second book entitled, "Theodore Rex," deals with Roosevelt's presidency of which Bradley tries to focus a great deal of his criticisms. Morris' last book is called, "Colonel Roosevelt," and deals with the years after Roosevelt's presidency. Each book has almost 200 pages or more of notes. The books were written from 1979 until early 2010. Morris put easily 30 years of study and research into understanding Roosevelt, including interviewing his family members of which two children were still alive at the time of the first book's release. And yet with all that, Bradley takes a shot at Morris stating that he didn't portray Roosevelt the way he really was because he didn't have enough sources and one source he quotes as being so meaningful is a bigot as well.
Bradley's whole book demonizes America and shows the exceptionalism of every nation America had dealings with from its inception until the end of Taft's presidency. It is entirely absurd and I completely understand why this book was only $5 on clearance at Barnes & Noble. Having just finished it, I feel the need to take a shower. There's nothing like the feeling that someone has repeatedly peed on your head and done their best to call it rain.